23rd. Sunday in Ordinary Time

Many years ago, two men went for a walk in the countryside, as they were walking a shepherd was playing a beautiful melody on the flute.  One of the men stopped to listen.  The other could hear absolutely nothing.  His name was Ludwig Van Beethoven the great german composer and pianist.  This was one of the moments when he realised thay he was loosing his hearng.  Beethoven is one of the most admired composers in the history of western music. We have all listened to the wonderful melodys of Beethoven and we admire his genius.  We can also understand the great frustraion he felt when he realised that he was loosing his hearing. We can also understand the frustration of the man in the gospel today. He is deaf, he can hardly speak and he is isolated.  Some people have pity on him and they bring him to Jesus.  Jesus cures him and now his life is changed forever.  We can only imagine his joy and happiness now that he can speak and hear for the first time.  We can be thankful if we have the gift of hearing. But we can ask ourselves: ‘what is the quality of my hearing?  Do I really listen in my heart to what people have to say?  Sometimes we hear people speaking, our ears are opened but our hearts are closed. There is one person who speaks to our hearts frequently and this person is Jesus.  Sometimes his words are encouraging,  sometimes inspiring, sometimes comforting, and sometimes challenging, but they are always words of friendship. There are 4 different ways of listening to Jesus. 1. Some people listen to the Word of God; they listen to what the priest is saying but their minds are far away from here. It goes in through one ear and goes out through the other. They hear but they do not listen. If we were to have survey and ask people what was the gospel and homily about today? 2. The selective hearers, they hear what they want to. We love to hear the Word of God talking to us about love, compassion, and joy, but when the word of God is challenging, we don’t want to hear it. 3. We have those who will say this is great for someone else. I’d love that person to hear that. They do not make it relevant for their lives. 4. Finally we have those people who will hear the word of God and listen to it. Am I really listening to what Jesus is trying to tell me. Which of these four types of listeners am I?  If I need to improve my listening let us ask Jesus to take away the deafness from my heart  so that I may really hear what God and every human person I meet, is trying to tell me.